For the first time in his professional career, quarterback Tom Brady is having an entirely new experience. After two decades in New England with the Patriots, Brady is making the move to sunny Florida, where the weather isn't the only contrast from the team and place he's leaving behind.
The transition from outside Boston to Tampa isn't as simple as packing up a suitcase, Brady readily admits. He's got a family, which includes three children, to think about when uprooting himself and his career after signing on to become a Buccaneer. He's also got his football family of teammates and coaches who, according to Brady, will be his lifelong friends no matter what jersey he's in.
That football family is about to get bigger with an entirely new set of coaches and teammates, which amid the current coronavirus crisis, aren't readily accessible for running routes in the backyard or studying film together.
But that's not stopping Brady, who said Tuesday during his introductory conference call that he's studied Head Coach Bruce Arians' offense for a long time. He's undoubtedly already begun his preparation to be at the helm of it, like he's seen so many quarterbacks successfully do before.
"I'm kind of taking it day by day and the expectation for me is to come in and do what I feel is right for the organization and that's to be a great team player," Brady said. "I'm going to try to do everything I can to get up to speed on the things I have to do with what my responsibilities are."
While Brady certainly has his responsibilities on the field, General Manager Jason Licht said more than Brady's accomplishments, the reason he was their number one choice this offseason was because of his leadership ability. Brady will bring a different dynamic to the locker room, where he will lead by example. By bettering himself, he can better those around him.
And it sounds like Brady has already bought in.
"I obviously have a ton of trust and respect for Coach [Bruce] Arians [and] for Jason [Licht] and what he has done to build the team and the organization as it is now," said Brady.
Notice those two words Brady uses: 'trust' and 'respect.' Sound familiar? That's because those are two of Arians' three pillars within his coaching philosophy, which runs on 'Trust, Loyalty and Respect.' It's up in the halls at AdventHealth Training Center. It's on team-distributed documents and in playbooks. And now, those words are coming from Tom Brady.
"It's not one person that makes a team," Brady insists. "It's every single person doing their job every day that's committed and determined to be the best. I'm a very disciplined quarterback. I try to follow through on the things that I'm committed to and I try to work every day to be the best I can be and that's what I'm going to try to push my teammates to do and I'm just excited to get started."
That might be an understatement coming from the guy that has built a brand on that discipline. But how do you get started amid a nation where multiple states are under 'Stay at Home' orders and people aren't supposed to leave their houses except for essentials?
"I'm not going to make predictions about how the next few months are going to go and I don't really know what's going to happen or what's predicted with our access to the team facilities and so forth," Brady said. "I'm going to do the best I can to be in conversation with guys and get together and find ways to meet up in different places and get to work in that sense."
Good thing we live in a digital age, where just like the introductory press conference that was held via conference call, adjustments can be made to connect in maybe more untraditional ways.
"Technology is an amazing thing and we're going to use technology as best we can to try to get to know each other," said Brady. "You know, they're ahead of me on what they need to know in terms of the offense so I really have to get up to speed with the things that they already know and their terminology. It's a lot of time and energy but that's what I love to do. The only way to start is to start doing it so that's all I gotta do."
View pictures from QB Tom Brady's NFL career thus far.